Like the Mines of Moria
February 24, 2010 5:08 AM   Subscribe

The G-Cans (warning: mind-blowing photos inside) water collecting system in Kasukabe City, Japan is a massive underground silo network (more photos) in the greater Tokyo area designed to control flooding (note: this site is in Japanese with English tour link) from typhoons.

From the middle link:

"The G-Cans project works started in 1992; it consists of five concrete containment silos with a height of 65 m and a diameter of 32 m, connected by 6.4 km of tunnels, 50 m beneath the surface, as well as a large water tank with a height of 25.4m, with a length of 177m, with a width of 78m, and with 59 massive pillars connected to a number of 14,000 horsepower (10 MW) turbines that can pump up to 200 tons of water into the Edogawa river per second. The G-Cans installations are also a tourist attraction, and can be visited for free. The main water tank resembles a temple and has been used in some movies and TV programs to create mystic scenes."

Have any Mefites in Japan seen this firsthand?
posted by bwg (40 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gandalf: "Fly, you fools!"
posted by rahnefan at 5:13 AM on February 24, 2010


Ugh...last time I fail to look at the title of the fpp...

Amazing photos, thanks.
posted by rahnefan at 5:14 AM on February 24, 2010


See Also.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:15 AM on February 24, 2010


Have any Mefites in Japan seen this firsthand?

Are you kidding? Man, this is my apartment. Spacious, eh?

But seriously... it's in Saitama. I don't go to Saitama unless somebody's paying me.

But really seriously, I would love to go there. It looks, as you said about the photos, mind-blowing. And I'd love to hear what sound does down there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:16 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


These are cool. This one appears to have some stairs that end in nothing. I do not like that.
posted by OmieWise at 5:18 AM on February 24, 2010


Wow
posted by zombieApoc at 5:21 AM on February 24, 2010


Gandalf: "Fly, you fools!"

My first thought exactly. "Holy crap, it's Moria."

This picture particularly brought back the feeling of awe when you first see the neverending columns of the mines in the movie. I remember almost being pulled out of immersion by the movie ruining voice in the back of my head complaining "What culture, even with magic, would have any reason to build something like that?". Take that, stupid voice.
posted by 256 at 5:29 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aren't those the tubes that run the Interwebz?
posted by Drasher at 5:29 AM on February 24, 2010


previously, although, the old link no longer works.
posted by delmoi at 5:31 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw man, I did numerous searches for G-Cans (along with all the links I put up) at Mefi and nothing turned up.

But seeing as these links work I guess it's not a full double?
posted by bwg at 5:37 AM on February 24, 2010


In addition to delmoi's link, if you search for "sewer" you find this the first comment of which calls it a double of this.
posted by DU at 5:46 AM on February 24, 2010


Jeebus, the search function really is borked.
posted by bwg at 5:54 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"G-cans" + Japan strangely does not link to anything having to do with breasts.

Where's the name come from?
posted by From Bklyn at 5:55 AM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The G-Cans Project appears in the "Related Posts" list at the bottom of this page. Although the site it links to has since been taken over by a domain name squatter.

I missed this the first (couple) times around. Those photos are great.
posted by ardgedee at 6:03 AM on February 24, 2010


What it sounds like. YouTube also has some explanations (in Japanese)
posted by MtDewd at 6:05 AM on February 24, 2010


Hey, I solved that Myst age! (Seriously, though, cool photos.)

Aren't those the tubes that run the Interwebz?

I didn't see any kittehz in them, so probably not.
posted by aught at 6:07 AM on February 24, 2010


Are these the same tunnels that were in The Host?
posted by minifigs at 6:28 AM on February 24, 2010


"The G-Cans water collecting system in Kasukabe City"

... I ... I had no idea. I am humbled.
posted by majick at 6:29 AM on February 24, 2010


Oh my god - that is amazing. I would love to go camping in there :) Although maybe in the dry season.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:34 AM on February 24, 2010


appears to have some stairs that end in nothing. I do not like that.


You will like it even less when you find where they do go, I promise you.

Where's the name come from?

I am deeply afraid that the "G" stands for "Godzilla." That is the way these things always start.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:36 AM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm with flapjax... Saitama is sort of like Gary, Indiana to Tokyo's Chicago. Landlocked, horribly hot in summer. Nothing of interest. More like kusai-tama, as my wife says.

On the other hand, they have those tunnels. And a new train museum...
posted by Ghidorah at 6:51 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Brits have already pwned it with their automotive superiority!
posted by adamms222 at 7:12 AM on February 24, 2010


One of the levels of Mirror's Edge is a pretty faithful reproduction of the G-Cans network.

And were the scenes of the ancient Martian underground oxygen generation facility in Total Recall shot in these things, or did the set designers just study them?
posted by Rat Spatula at 7:23 AM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


My first thought exactly. "Holy crap, it's Moria."

My first thought was the urge to run around in there with a crowbar.
posted by regicide is good for you at 7:23 AM on February 24, 2010


wow. (also.)
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2010


And were the scenes of the ancient Martian underground oxygen generation facility in Total Recall shot in these things, or did the set designers just study them?</i?

With time machines?

posted by kmz at 7:37 AM on February 24, 2010


Something very similar here: Cleveland's Baldwin Water Treatment Plant, built in the 1920s, and still going strong. I just downed a glass of water that washed past those columns on the way to my gullet.
posted by Faze at 8:35 AM on February 24, 2010


Hi-rez anywhere? these would make great desktops
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:44 AM on February 24, 2010


Oh pshaw... just another cheap Japanese knock-off of superior American flood-control technology.
posted by Mike D at 8:47 AM on February 24, 2010


These lead to the secret Evangelion facility, if I'm not mistaken. The whole flood-control thing is only a ruse.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:07 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is what Manila needed and didn't have when Typhoon Ondoy hit late in 2009...
posted by gen at 10:09 AM on February 24, 2010


Whenever I see photos of this place I have the same thought, "And you guys seriously can't figure out where all the giant, city destroying, monsters go when they aren't rampaging?"

Every fiber of the urban explorer/ photog in me wants to spend some quality time down there.
posted by quin at 10:14 AM on February 24, 2010


That's pretty awesome. It looks much cooler than the photos I've seen of Chicago's Deep Tunnel project, but sounds like the same sort of idea.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:30 AM on February 24, 2010


That would be the ultimate setting for any number of Sci-fi alien zombie planet of the Apes films.

They must be getting requests like crazy to film there.
posted by Skygazer at 10:37 AM on February 24, 2010


Have any Mefites in Japan seen this firsthand?

This is in Saitama, just north of Tokyo. Or at least, the small part you can tour is. From what I understand, they have odd tour hours. Like once a month for a few hours, in the middle of a weekday. Maybe they've changed it recently. If I can I'll go and get some pics...for Metafilter!

and flapjax, Saitama's not that bad. Ok, maybe it is.
posted by zardoz at 2:04 PM on February 24, 2010


Are these the same tunnels that were in The Host?

Doubltful. The Host was a South Korean film. But I'd bet that they served a similar function.
posted by lekvar at 2:24 PM on February 24, 2010


This instantly reminded me of Turkey's Basilica Cistern.
posted by TrialByMedia at 2:46 PM on February 24, 2010


They must be getting requests like crazy to film there.

I'm having a hard time believing that wasn't the idea all along. Rainwater control was just a bonus.
posted by odinsdream at 3:33 PM on February 24, 2010


"There used to be cities that spanned hundreds of miles. Now these sewers are all that's left of them."
posted by Rhaomi at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2010


I've been there. Because I live in Saitama. Sorry I can't hang with the cool guys. Actually, I live about 20 minutes from there. I took my parents there a few years ago when they came to visit Japan, because my Dad is an architect and a civil engineer. He had me translating all sorts of stupid questions about valves and shit, which the really cute guides were able to answer, as far as the understood what I was asking.

The tour hours are fairly irregular, because they only offer tours in times when flooding is not likely. You have to make a reservation and they''re limited to 30 people in a group or something. It's not the kid of place you can really walk to from the station; it's a bit out in the country.

The tour is pretty cool, but it's not quite as extensive as you might imagine. The people there all act like there's a good chance of 30 meter flash flooding any second; I guess it justifies their existence. First you get a big explanation of everything that goes on there, and the purpose of the facility, and so on. Then you Go out and climb down one of the big tubes, to the cathedral gallery. Then you basically just hang around there for a while. You can't really go too far around the place; not at all like the pictures. There's some cool pictures in the hallway of the office from when Ridley Scott's cousin or something filmed a Range Rover commercial in there.

By the way, the Japanese word "dasai" which means lame or cheesy, is said to come from the name Saitama. As in, Dasaitama. Everyone calls it that here.
posted by donkeymon at 4:05 AM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older "He was the worst guy I’ve ever seen trying to...   |   Men's evil manners live in brass Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments